Dean Manuel J. Justiz
WELCOME—I’m so glad you elected to stop and explore our newly redesigned website. We feel this revamped, virtual version of The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education does a better job of telling our story, with a design that will engage our visitors on more levels.
Although the website does a great job of introducing you to our projects, people and programs, I’d still like to mention a few of our treasures.
We’re very proud of all aspects of the college, of course, but one of the things about which we’re particularly pleased is our number one ranking among U.S. public graduate education programs.
For three years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked us first among public universities and we are ranked fourth overall nationally, behind Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University. Our administration/supervision, educational psychology and special education programs also were ranked in the top 10 nationally this year.
Over the past decade or so we’ve worked very hard to keep the word “excellence” in mind, no matter what college-related endeavor we’ve undertaken. I think the hard work and focus have been paying off. When we say we’re a top tier college of education, we have at least one significant laurel with which to back that up. I’m very, very proud of all of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who helped make this possible.
On a more fundamental note, we have five departments in the College of Education—curriculum and instruction, special education, kinesiology and health education, educational psychology, and educational administration—and we offer graduate courses and degrees in all of them.
We also have several centers, institutes and programs that are powerhouses for internationally influential research. Our Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk includes areas that address the varied needs of struggling learners, from interventions for autism spectrum disorders to instructional strategies for students with math learning disabilities. Working hand in hand with the Meadows Center is our Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts, which is a premier facility for literacy research and instruction.
One of our top faculty members—Dr. Kevin Stark—co-created and co-directs the Texas Child Study Center, which is located at Dell Children’s Medical Center and is the premier mental health resource for Central Texas families. Incidentally, Dr. Stark also did the first-ever major study on depression in girls and was called in after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and after Hurricane Katrina to offer guidance on how best to help traumatized children through the disasters. We have numerous faculty who, like Dr. Stark, are the “go-to” experts in their fields.
I think most people are very familiar with our UTeach program, which is such a brilliant success story. The program has won national acclaim, including lauds from President Obama and major corporate leaders, and has been replicated nationwide. UTeach has been quite successful at drawing the most talented STEM students and training them to be highly proficient secondary STEM teachers.
We also have the Advise TX program, which, like UTeach, attracts top talent. Advise TX recruits recent UT-Austin graduates and trains them to be college advisors in some of Texas’ most impoverished urban high schools, increasing the likelihood that many at-risk students in this state will stay in high school and choose to attend two- or four-year colleges.
Our kinesiology and health education labs are replete with the latest in technology when it comes to testing and evaluation equipment and are home to some of the brightest scientists. We have professors who are working with other colleges and schools on campus, as well as with local hospitals, to regenerate muscle tissue and improve rehabilitation for people who have had serious spinal cord injuries, for example. They’re delving into many of the top health and fitness issues of our day, spanning the spectrum from cardiovascular health in the elderly to improvement of mental health through physical exercise.
Our Department of Educational Administration has produced more community college leaders than any other program in the country and our Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science in Mathematics Teaching is out in the field, offering sustained, top quality professional development to STEM teachers in all 254 Texas counties. Additionally, the Pearson Center for Applied Psychometric Research is dedicated to providing the best in statistical and psychometric research and evaluation services with the goal of improving K-12 assessment practices.
The H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports is an absolutely beautiful facility that holds the most extensive physical culture archive in the world and is led by two world-record-holding athletes who also are nationally acclaimed scholars.
There is so much to mention, but that’s why we have the new, more thorough and visually appealing website. I encourage you to discover the rest of our assets through explorations of your own.
Again, thank you for dropping by and for your interest in our work. If you have questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office—we welcome your feedback!
Manuel J. Justiz
Dean, College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin